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 Choosing fixtures to avoid problems after water shut down.
Author: Char47 (IL)

We are renovating bathrooms in an older condo (mid-60's).

The (galvanized) piping is 1/2 inch; I understand that 3/4 inch is now more the standard.

The building has a single shut-off for the whole building and has a tradition of problems with fixtures getting stopped up when a whole building shut-off is performed for work in a particular unit.

The plumber I have spoken with basically has me pretty confused and additional discussion with him just makes me more confused.

He suggests that we seek to get "high flow" fixtures designed to work with 3/4" piping, not because we will get the true high flow rate given the 1/2" pipes - but because the tolerances in the fixtures designed for 3/4" pipes are more generous and less likely to get stopped up when flow is restored to the building.

My confusions are

1) understanding what high flow is; from my reading it sounds like all new fixtures cannot have flow rates above 2.5 gpm

2) Although he suggested getting fixtures designed for 3/4 inch pipes, he also later in the conversation seemed to be saying that all new fixtures are designed for 3/4 pipes - so I'm not sure what I am looking for

3) Finally he said that buying fixtures designed for 3/4" pipes and attaching them to 1/2" piping will mess with the system for tempering the water temperature properly.

Can you help clarify this question for me? Is there something we should be doing to reduce the risk of problems after a water shut-off? (Due to cost factors, the condo association views replacing the galvanized lines throughout the building as a product for some time in the future.)

Edited 2 times.

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 Re: Choosing fixtures to avoid problems after water shut down.
Author: packy (MA)

i know of shower valves with 3/4 connections but that's all i know of ??

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 Re: Choosing fixtures to avoid problems after water shut down.
Author: hj (AZ)

He is either trying to dazzle you with his brilliance or baffle you with his B.S. The ONLY fixtures designed for use with 3/4" pipe are bath/shower valves and they are marginally bigger internally than those for 1/2". NEITHER ONE, however will do ANYTHING to "mess with" the temperature from the faucets. 90% of the time, if a blockage does occur after shutting the water off, it will either be in a fitting BEFORE it reaches the faucet or the faucet's aerator on the end of the spout, seldom in the faucet itself. Regardless of the size pipe going TO the fixture, the actual openings inside the faucet are MUCH, MUCH, smaller than that pipe size.

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 Re: Choosing fixtures to avoid problems after water shut down.
Author: PlumberLoren (CA)

I will address the problems created when builders of multi units install one shutoff valve for the entire building. A friend of mine owns a unit that is part of an 8 unit building in San Marcos. Any time he has a problem with his shower or tub (no stop valves), we have to contact all of the other owners or tenants with a 3 day notice that the water will be shut off between the hours of bla, bla, bla.

This sucks for each owner and the mechanics they hire. I don't know why the Cities, homeowners associations, etc. don't demand that the people who create the plumbing codes remedy this by making it mandatory that each unit have a separate valve controlling water. The Peter Principal is alive and well...

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 Re: Choosing fixtures to avoid problems after water shut down.
Author: hj (AZ)

Normally, they get around it by having each fixture, including the tubs and showers have individual shut offs.

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 Re: Choosing fixtures to avoid problems after water shut down.
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

Is this a conversion condo, from an apartment building or was it designed to be a condo from new construction. Apartments used a single valve, while condos used separate valves for each condo.

Best Wishes

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